Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Andy Baggot of UWBadgers.com,
Mike Eaves is one of the most distinguished figures in Wisconsin athletic history, which is why this moment is particularly difficult.
Eaves has been relieved of his duties as UW men's hockey coach after 14 seasons, which included an NCAA championship in 2006, a national runner-up finish in 2010 and, at last count, 26 players who've reached the NHL.
Eaves is also the all-time leading scorer in program history, a three-time captain, a two-time Most Valuable Player, an honor student and member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame.
Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez made the decision after the six-time national champion Badgers labored through consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1995-97 and saw fan support at the Kohl Center dwindle.
"I told Mike I appreciated the work he's done here," Alvarez said. "I also told him that we have great tradition and standards here in hockey. He's the gate-keeper of hockey. I'm the gate-keeper of the department. We both have a responsibility.
"After last season, because of the success we've had in the past, we felt that Mike had earned a chance to get the ship righted. But now, after back-to-back seasons like the last two we've had, I feel we need a change."
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson returned to his alma mater in 1984 to revitalize a once-proud program. He admits he has stayed on longer than he ever anticipated.
Berenson, 76, is in the final year of his contact. Multiple times, he has given a slight smile when asked about his future and acknowledged he can’t coach forever — without revealing his plans.
“You like the game, and you like the kids,” Berenson told the Free Press. “I believe in what we’re doing. I like the fact that they’re going to school. It’s nice to see the guys live their dream that go on to play in the NHL. That’s a great thing for our program.”
Just as important to Berenson are the players who go on to do something meaningful besides hockey because of the education they received.
The Wolverines host Penn State on Friday and Saturday in their final home series. Rumors of Berenson’s retirement have been greatly exaggerated for years. He might return for a 33rd season. But it’s possible this could be the last chance to see him behind the bench at Yost Ice Arena.
“I’m going to get to the end of this probably sooner than later,” Berenson said.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Win No. 1,000 came gift-wrapped with a Bay State bow. Jerry York, proud son of Watertown, walked out of Mullins Center Friday night with his BC Eagles owners of an 8-0 shellacking of the UMass Minutemen, and his career résumé reading 1,000-595-108.
Finally, four figures in the win column. No college hockey coach has won more games than York, the 70-year-old former Eagles center. And perhaps no college coach anywhere ever reached such a significant milestone — a feat unlikely to be duplicated — with such a subdued, understated demeanor.
“We’ve always talked about leaving our ego at the door, when you walk in [the dressing room] you’re now a part of a family of BC hockey players,’’ said York, after seeing eight goal scorers execute the beatdown before a crowd of 4,673. “If I was to make a big deal of, ‘Let’s work really hard to get this one,’ it wouldn’t make any sense.
“I really stayed away from that.’’
via Justin P. Hicks of Mlive,
A handful of scuffles broke out in the closing minutes, which led to Michigan's Cutler Martin and Ohio State's Dakota Joshua each being handed a one-game misconduct.
Michigan won the game 8-6.
Here is the call of the brawl from Dan Dickerson (radio voice of the Detroit Tigers)...
from Cory Zurowski of City Pages,
Where the Gophers used to have permanent residence among the nation's top 20, they're no longer even the best in Minnesota, losing 10 of their last 11 games against in-state opponents. And what was once a prideful alumni network has morphed into a full-scale revolt.
On a Saturday night in December, the Mariucci scoreboard spurs the faithful: "Let's Get Weird!"
The Gophers have already taken care of that.
Stacked with 12 NHL draft picks, they're struggling to stay with Big Ten bottom-feeder Ohio State.
When the New York Rangers selected defenseman Brady Skjei three years ago, he became the 18th Gopher picked in the first round of the NHL draft. Almost 200 more have gone in later rounds.
Yet it's this very lodestone of talent that's come to haunt the team.
"At a program like Minnesota, you're going to have high-end players," says former Ohio State Coach Mark Osiecki. "But you can't have your whole roster of that."
The Gophers do.
Watch these days, and you'll witness less a team than a constellation of child stars. Some were signed to scholarships as young as age 15, coated with praise since their grade school days. It's akin to building a football team where everyone fancies himself a star quarterback. That's left no one to do the yeoman's work of winning hockey.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer
from David Goricki of the Detroit News,
Michigan sophomore defenseman Zach Werenski made his presence felt this past weekend in helping the Wolverines to an impressive weekend sweep of rival Michigan State by a combined score of 15-5.
And, Werenski was fresh off playing in the World Junior Championships in Finland where he was team captain and voted as the top defenseman.
Werenski says he is happy at Michigan, talking after Friday’s rout of the Spartans, despite a Columbus Dispatch report speculating Werenski was unhappy in Ann Arbor and thinking of turning pro.
“I’m happy,” said Werenski, the No. 8 overall pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in last June’s NHL draft. “That was a terrible rumor, bad timing too, especially going on with the tournament. It’s not something you want to see. That’s why it’s a rumor and you have to push it off.
“I was kind of like, ‘What is this?’ when I read it. I just put it behind me. You see all that stuff. It pops up on your timeline. At that point, I just stopped looking at Twitter. I have bigger things to worry about than that.”
tee rap of Rink RAP with some great stories from Michigan head hockey coach Red Berenson, like this on Bobby Orr...
“I was playing for the Rangers in his rookie year. We’d heard all this hype about this one player who was supposed to be so good at age 18. And Harry Howell was our veteran defenseman, I think he had won the Norris trophy the previous year.
So there was some talk about, there was no way this kid could be that good. I mean Harry Howell won the Norris Trophy. And after the first period we were looking around at each other and somebody said to Harry, ‘Harry, forget about the Norris Trophy. You’re never going to win that again.’ This is after one period in Boston against Orr his rookie year.”
thanks to an RT from Billy Jaffe for the pointer
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
Michigan State has eliminated the blue lines at Munn Ice Arena.
At the request of athletic director Mark Hollis, the blue lines were painted green when the ice recently was redone at the hockey rink.
Hollis did not respond to repeated requests from the Free Press for comment.
Section 5 a. of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules and Interpretations states that “the ice area between the two goals shall be divided into three parts by lines 12 inches in width and blue in color, drawn at least 60 feet out from the goal lines, extending completely across the rink parallel with the goal lines, and continuing vertically up the side of the boards. It is preferred that the offensive zone be 64 feet when possible.”
A message left for the NCAA seeking comment was not returned, although the color change was not expected to be an issue.
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson — whose school colors, of course, are maize and blue — isn’t too keen on the idea of having a color other than blue for the lines.
from Robby Stanley at NHL.com,
Forward Jimmy Vesey feels that earning a degree from Harvard University will provide him with plenty of future opportunities outside of hockey, even though it pushed back his chance to make the Nashville Predators.
When the Predators selected Vesey in the third round (No. 66) in the 2012 NHL Draft, they knew he had the potential to be a dynamic offensive player. Vesey showed off that potential at Harvard during the 2014-15 season, leading the nation with 32 goals. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college player in the country.
Vesey, a junior, could have turned pro and signed with the Predators in March, after the Crimson's season ended. Instead, he chose to return for his senior season.
Earning his degree from Harvard is important to Vesey.
"It was a really tough decision for me," Vesey said this week at Nashville's development camp. "I sat down with my family and we kind of weighed our options. At the end of the day, I just wanted to make sure I got that degree from Harvard because hockey is not going to last forever and that's something good to fall back on. I'm going to wait one more year and finish my college season and hopefully sign after the year."
Although the Predators felt Vesey, a government major at Harvard, was good enough to turn pro, he said they were supportive of his decision to return to school.
Frozen Four Final- Boston Univ. Goaltender Matt O’Connor Faces The Music After BU Loss To Providence
from Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald,
First, he had to sit in that tiny dressing room inside TD Garden last night and talk about giving up one of the most gruesome goals in the history of college hockey. He was manning the net in the third period of the Frozen Four championship game, his BU Terriers holding a one-goal lead over Providence College with less than nine minutes remaining. The Friars’ Tom Parisi, meandering around center ice, lifted a pop fly of a shot toward O’Connor. It should have been easy: Catch the puck and deposit it behind the net, where it would be collected by teammate Jack Eichel. It turned out to be anything but easy.
When O’Connor extended his glove, the puck went in, went out. It fell to the ice. O’Connor couldn’t find it. It trickled between his legs and into the net. Tie game, 8:36 remaining.
It wasn’t the goal that lost the game for BU, but it was the goal that broke BU. A little more than two minutes later, Brandon Tanev scored to put the Friars ahead to stay.
Final score: Providence 4, Boston University 3.
“Everybody in this locker room deserved a lot better,” O’Connor told the first wave of reporters. “They deserve to be hoisting a national championship right now. Sports are tough . . . but everyone in this locker room . . . sometimes you lose the puck in the lights in the Garden . . . you get a weird bounce and things happen . . .”
He wasn’t speaking sentences. He was speaking words, one after the other, piles of words, not all of them jiving with each other.
He was asked what his coaches and teammates said to him after the game.
“A lot of people tried to remind me that the reason we were here was partly because of my performance,” he said, “but a lot of it was just a way to make me feel better.”
Watch the game tying goal by Providence below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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